Tuesday, 12 January 2016

I don't really get music

Another group I enjoyed singling with in my youth -
Nonessence (clearly hip and fashion-conscious)
It may be a matter of having slightly different mental structures or something, but I struggle to understand the importance most people seem to place on music.

This might seem odd, as I've always loved performing with smallish groups of singers, mostly notably Selwyn College Chapel Choir, and I often play music when doing admin tasks (I can never write with music on). I've even enjoyed a few of the concerts I've attended, though if I'm honest, by about 2/3 of the way through a gig I've usually had enough and am getting a bit bored. But what I can't understand, as evidenced by the outpouring after the death of David Bowie, is the way so many people say that music changed their life or was central to it.

I'm not doing down Bowie - I think he was brilliant, creative and a one-off. But I don't understand how music can do anything to your life, or how a musician can be a hero or role model. I read, for instance, Suzanne Moore in the Guardian saying 'What he gave to me is forever mine because he formed me... He was my lodestar...' For me, music is just another type of entertainment, and if I have to give something my whole concentration as an audience member, as opposed to a performer, I'd rather it were a book or a film.

I ought to stress this isn't an attack on those who do put music at the centre of their lives, as so many seem to. But I honestly don't get it - I don't feel anything like they seem to. My loss, I'm sure, but just emphasising, I guess that all brains are not wired the same.

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